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North Carolina Department of Transportation 
Statewide Planning Branch 




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Transportation Plan Technical Report 

for the 

City of Southport 




March 2001 



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STATE LEi. - H CAROLINA 

RALEIGH 



Transportation Plan Technical Report 

For The 
City of Southport, North Carolina 



Prepared by the: 



Statewide Planning Branch 

Planning and Environment 

North Carolina Department of Transportation 



In cooperation with: 



The City of Southport 

The Federal Highway Administration 

U. S. Department of Transportation 



March, 2001 



Persons responsible for this report: 

Statewide Planning Branch Manager: Blake Norwood, P.E. 

Urban Studies Unit C Unit Head: Deborah Hutchings, P.E. 

Project Engineer: Tim Padgett, P.E. 

Project Technician: Jim Neely 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Table of Contents 



Table of Contents 



Page No. 



Executive Summary 

Overview 

Thoroughfare Planning 
Highlights of the Thoroughfare Plan 
Implementation 
Transportation Planning Principles 
Basic Principles 
Purpose of Planning 
Objectives of Thoroughfare Planning 
Operational Efficiency 
Thoroughfare System Classification 
Idealized Major Thoroughfare System 
Application of Thoroughfare Planning Principles 
Development of Thoroughfare Plan 
Trends 

Population 

Economy and Employment 
Land Use 
Existing Transportation System and Deficiencies 
Travel Demand 
Capacity Analysis 
Thoroughfare Plan 

Major Thoroughfares 
Minor Thoroughfares 
Alternate Modes 
Implementation of Thoroughfare Plan 

State-Municipal Adoption of the Thoroughfare Plan 
Land Use Controls 
Development Reviews 
Funding Sources 

Transportation Improvement Program 

Public Access Funds 

Small Urban Funds 

The North Carolina Highway Trust Fund Law 

Tables 

Table 1 . Population Trends and Projections 
Table 2. City of Southport Employed Persons by Industry 
Table 3. Southport Area Major Industrial Employers, 1995 
Table 4. Existing Land Use Within Total Planning Jurisdiction 



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Figures 



Figure 1. Thoroughfare Plan 
Figure 2. Planning Area Boundary 
Figure 3. 1997 and 2025 AADT 
Figure 4. 2000 Capacity Deficiencies 
Figure 5. 2025 Capacity Deficiencies 
Figure 6. 2025 Recommended Improvements 
Figure 7. Southport Environmental Analysis 
Figure 8. Bicycle Routes 



Figures 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Table of Contents 

Appendix Appendix 

A1 . Street Tabulation 

A2. Public Involvement 

A3. Level of Service Definitions 

A4. Purpose and Need 

A5. Environmental Analysis 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Executive Summary 

Overview 

Officials of the City of Southport, prompted by a desire to adequately plan for the future 
transportation needs, requested the North Carolina Department of Transportation's (NCDOT) 
assistance in developing a citywide thoroughfare plan. 

Thoroughfare Planning 

The objective of thoroughfare planning is to enable the transportation network to be 
progressively developed to adequately meet the transportation needs of a community as land 
develops and traffic volumes increase. By planning now for our future transportation needs, 
unnecessary costs to the physical, social and economic environment can be avoided or 
minimized. Thoroughfare planning is a tool that can be used by local officials to plan for future 
transportation needs, while at the same time reducing the costs to our environment. 

The primary purpose of this report is to present the findings and recommendations of the 
thoroughfare plan study conducted for the City of Southport. The secondary purposes of this 
report are to document the basic thoroughfare planning principles and procedures used in 
developing these recommendations and to provide the City of Southport with information on the 
best strategies for implementing the recommendations in this report. This report is divided into 
three parts. The first part of the report provides information on the principles of thoroughfare 
planning. The next part provides a detailed description of the Thoroughfare Plan study 
recommendations as well as the development of these recommendations. Finally, the last part 
of the report addresses different methods by which the recommendations contained within can 
be implemented. 

Further information that will be useful to area planners is provided in the Appendices. 
Thoroughfare Plan Street Tabulation 
Level of Service Definitions 
Public Involvement Aspect 
Purpose and Need of Recommended Improvements 

Highlights of the Thoroughfare Plan 

Major highlights of the Southport Thoroughfare Plan and its recommendations are outlined 
below. The Thoroughfare Plan Map is shown in Figure 1. 

• NC 211 from Beach Road to Fodale Avenue 

Widen Roadway to a 4-lane median divided facility. 

• Northern Connector 

Construct a 2-lane facility on new location from Leonard Street to NC 87. 

• Yaupon Drive 

Construct a 2-lane facility on new location utilizing existing donated right-of-way. 

• NC 211 (Howe Street) 

Widen existing roadway to four lanes. 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 



• NC87/NC133 

Widen existing roadway to a 5-lane divided facility. 

• Dosher Cut-Off Road 

Continue to support TIP project R-3324 providing a new connector from NC 87/NC 133 
directly to Beach Road. 

Implementation 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the City of Southport are jointly 
responsible for the proposed thoroughfare improvements. Cooperation between the State and 
the City is of primary concern if the recommendations outlined above are to be successfully 
implemented. The plan has been mutually adopted by both parties, and it is the responsibility of 
the City to implement the plan following the guidelines set forth in this report. 

It is important to note that the mutually adopted plan is based on anticipated growth within and 
around the City of Southport as indicated by past trends and the anticipated development of the 
area. Prior to the construction of each project, a more detailed study will be required to revisit 
development trends and to determine the specific location and design requirements for each 
study. 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

I. Transportation Planning Principles 

Basic Principles 

The urban street system typically occupies 25 to 30 percent of the total developed land in the 
urban area. Since the system is permanent and expensive to build and maintain, much care 
and foresight are needed in its development. Thoroughfare planning is the process used by 
public officials to insure the development of the most logical and appropriate street system to 
meet future travel desires. 

Purpose of Planning 

There are many benefits to be gained from thoroughfare planning, but the primary objective is 
to insure that the street system will be progressively developed in such a manner as to 
adequately serve future travel desires. Thus, the cardinal concept of thoroughfare planning is 
that provisions be made for street and highway improvements so that as needs arise, feasible 
opportunities to make improvements exist. 

Some of the benefits derived from thoroughfare planning are: 

1. Each street can be designed to perform a specific function. This permits savings in right-of- 
way and construction costs; and encourages stability in travel and land use patterns. 

2. Local officials and citizens are informed as to future improvements. Public facilities can be 
better located; and damage to property and appearance can be minimized (for example: 
buildings and plants can be located to permit future street widening). 

3. Residents will know which streets will be developed as major thoroughfares and be able to 
make an informed decision when choosing a home. 

4. City officials will know when improvements will be needed and can schedule funds 
accordingly. 

Objectives of Thoroughfare Planning 

The primary aim of a thoroughfare plan is to guide the development of the urban street system 
in a manner consistent with the changing land use and resulting traffic patterns. A thoroughfare 
plan will enable street improvements to be made as traffic demands increase, and it helps 
eliminate unnecessary improvements, so needless expense can be averted. By developing the 
urban street system to keep pace with increasing traffic demands, a maximum utilization of the 
system can be attained, requiring a minimum amount of land for street purposes. In addition to 
providing for traffic needs the thoroughfare plan should embody those details of good urban 
planning necessary to present a pleasing and efficient urban community. The location of 
present and future population, commercial, and industrial development affects major street and 
highway locations. Conversely, the location of major streets and highways within the urban 
area will influence the urban development pattern. 



1 

Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 



Other objectives of a thoroughfare plan include: 



• 



• 



• 



• 



Providing for the orderly development of an adequate major street system as land 
development occurs, 

Reducing travel and transportation costs, 

Reducing the cost of major street improvements to the public through the 
coordination of the street system with private action, 

Enabling private interests to plan their actions, improvements, and development with 
full knowledge of public intent, 

Minimizing disruption and displacement of people and businesses through long 
range advance planning for major street improvements, 

Reducing environmental impacts, such as air pollution, resulting from transportation, 
and 



Increasing travel safety. 

Operational Efficiency 

The operational efficiency of a street is improved by increasing the capability of the street to 
carry vehicular traffic and people. In terms of vehicular traffic, the capacity of a street is the 
maximum number of vehicles that can pass a given point on a roadway during a given period 
under prevailing roadway and traffic conditions. The physical features of the roadway, nature of 
traffic, and weather affect capacity. 

Physical ways to improve vehicular capacity include: 

New highways - the construction of new highways on new location is an effective 
method for relieving traffic congestion on the existing transportation system. 

System improvements - congestion is often caused by an inefficient street system. 
Developing a more efficient system of streets that will better serve travel desires can 
alter travel demand on a facility. A more efficient system can reduce travel distances, 
time and cost. Improvements in system efficiency can be achieved through the concept 
of functional classification of streets and development of a coordinated major street 
system. 

Geometric design - improving the geometric design of roadways can significantly 
improve operations and traffic flow, resulting in reduced congestion. Design 
improvements are based on specified design criteria, traffic volumes, speed, and sight 
distance. Geometric design improvements can include improvements to the 
horizontal/vertical alignment, greater clearance, adding to the number and width of 
lanes, widening shoulders, deleting or improving median crossovers, improving traffic 
control devices and improved intersection design. Geometric improvements typically 
provide high benefit/cost ratios. 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Reconstruction - roadway capacity can be increased by reconstructive efforts that 
improve the roadways geometric and structural standards, improve the quality of 
operation and safety, and by improvements that extend the life-span of the facility. 

Roadway widening - capacity can be increased through the addition of new lanes, or 
the widening of existing lanes. Drivers perceive wider lanes to be safer and will 
therefore travel at higher speeds reducing slow downs and bottlenecks. The addition of 
new lanes greatly increases the vehicle-carrying capacity of the facility. 

Eliminating roadside obstacles - reduces side friction and improves a driver's field of 
sight. 

Operational ways to improve street capacity include: 

Control of access - a roadway with complete access control can often carry three times 
the traffic handled by a non-controlled access street with identical lane width and 
number of lanes. 

Parking removal - increases capacity by providing additional street width for traffic flow 
and reduces friction to flow caused by parking and unparking vehicles. 

One-way operation - the capacity of a street can sometimes be increased 20-50%, 
depending upon turning movements and street width, by initiating one-way traffic 
operations. One-way streets also can improve traffic flow by decreasing potential traffic 
conflicts and simplifying traffic signal coordination. 

Reversible lanes - may be used to increase street capacity in situations where heavy 
directional flows occur at peak periods. 

Signal phasing and coordination - uncoordinated signals and poor signal phasing 
restrict traffic flow by creating excessive stop-and-go operation. 

Turn prohibitions - reduce turn conflicts, congestion, and accidents by eliminating 
certain intersection turn movements, primarily during peak hours. 

Improved traffic information devices - upgrading traffic control devices provides 
better information to the driver and can be beneficial in reducing traffic congestion by 
reducing driver confusion and uncertainty. 

Altering travel demand is a third way to improve the efficiency of existing streets. Travel 
demand can be reduced or altered in the following ways: 

Carpools - encourage people to form carpools and vanpools for journeys to work and 
other trip purposes; this reduces the number of vehicles on the roadways and raises the 
people carrying capability of the street system. 

Alternate mode - encourage the use of alternate modes of travel such as transit, 
bicycles, or walking for short distance trips. 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Work hours - encourage industries, business, and institutions to stagger work hours or 
establish variable work for employees; this will reduce travel demand in peak periods 
and spread peak travel over a longer period. 

Growth management - public policy can be used to regulate the location, pattern, 
density, and rate of growth of development. Growth regulations are tied to the capacity 
of the existing system. The growth management strategy controls congestion by 
restricting development unless a means to mitigate congestion impacts is proposed and 
implemented. New developments with the potential to cause congestion to increase 
beyond predetermined thresholds for a facility can be required to implement strategies 
to prevent such increases in congestion. 

An example of a growth management policy would be: "A traffic impact analysis would 
be required for any project that generates more than 500 vehicle trips per day. Where it 
is projected that additional traffic from a project will exceed a volume/capacity ratio of 
0.8 on the adjacent streets, increase the peak hour volume by 10% or more, or reduce 
the level of service to "D" or below, the project shall not be approved unless and until 
provision has been made for the improvement of said condition." 

Thoroughfare System Classification 

Streets perform two primary functions - traffic service and land service, which when combined, 
are basically incompatible. The conflict is not serious if both traffic and land service demands 
are low. However, when traffic volumes are high, conflicts created by uncontrolled and 
intensely used abutting property leads to intolerable traffic flow friction and congestion. 

The underlying concept of the thoroughfare plan is that it provides a functional system of 
streets, which permits travel from origins to destinations with directness, ease, and safety. 
Different streets in the system are designed and called on to perform specific functions, thus 
minimizing the traffic and land service conflict. Streets are categorized as to function as local 
access streets, minor thoroughfares, or major thoroughfares. 

Local Access Streets provide access to abutting property. They are not intended to carry 
heavy volumes of traffic and should be located such that only traffic with origins and 
destinations on the streets would be served. Local streets may be further classified as either 
residential, commercial, and/or industrial depending upon the type of land use which they serve. 

Minor Thoroughfares are more important streets on the city system. They collect traffic from 
local access streets and carry it to the major thoroughfares. They may in some instances 
supplement the major thoroughfare system by facilitating minor through traffic movements. A 
third function that may be performed is that of providing access to abutting property. They 
should be designed to serve limited areas so that their development as major thoroughfares will 
be prevented. 

Major Thoroughfares are the primary traffic arteries of the city. Their function is to move intra- 
city and inter-city traffic. The streets that comprise the major thoroughfare system may also 
serve abutting property, however, their principle function is to carry traffic. Therefore, direct 
property access should not be permitted on major thoroughfares. They should not be bordered 
by uncontrolled strip development because such development significantly lowers the capacity 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

of the thoroughfare to carry traffic and each driveway is a danger and an impediment to traffic 
flow. Major thoroughfares may range from a two-lane street carrying minor traffic volumes to 
major expressways with four or more traffic lanes. Parking normally should not be permitted on 
major thoroughfares. 

Idealized Major Thoroughfare System 

A coordinated system of major thoroughfares forms the basic framework of the urban street 
system, thus improving system efficiency through layout. A major thoroughfare system that is 
most adaptable to desire lines of travel within an urban area is the radial-loop system. It 
permits movement between various areas of the city with maximum directness. 

This system consists of several functional elements - radial streets, crosstown streets, loop 
system streets, and bypasses. 

Radial Streets provide for traffic movement between points located on the outskirts of the city 
and the central area. This is a major traffic movement in most cities, and the economic strength 
of the central business district depends upon the adequacy of this type of thoroughfare. 

If all radial streets crossed in the central area, an intolerable congestion problem would result. 
To avoid this problem, it is very important to have a system of Crosstown Streets that form a 
loop around the central business district. This system allows traffic moving from origins on one 
side of the cental area to destinations on the other side to follow the area's border. It also 
allows central area traffic to circle and then enter the area near a given destination. The effect 
of a good crosstown system is to free the cental area of crosstown traffic thus permitting the 
central area to function more adequately in its role as a business or pedestrian shopping area. 

Loop System streets move traffic between suburban areas of the city. Although a loop may 
completely encircle the city, a typical trip may be from an origin near a radial thoroughfare to a 
destination near another radial thoroughfare. Loop streets do not necessarily carry heavy 
volumes of traffic, but they function to help relieve central areas. There may be one or more 
loops, depending on the size of the urban area. They are generally spaced one-half mile to one 
mile apart, depending on the intensity of land use. 

A Bypass is designed to carry traffic through or around the urban area, thus providing relief to 
the city street system by removing traffic that has no desire to be in the city. Bypasses are 
usually designed to through-highway standards, with control of access. Occasionally, a bypass 
with low traffic volume can be designed to function as a portion of an urban loop. The general 
effect of bypasses is to expedite the movement of through traffic and to improve traffic 
conditions within the city. By freeing the local streets for use by shopping and home-to-work 
traffic, bypasses tend to increase the economic vitality of the local area. 

Application of Thoroughfare Planning Principles 

The concepts presented in the discussion of operational efficiency, functional classification, and 
idealized major thoroughfare system are the conceptual tools available to the transportation 
planner in developing a thoroughfare plan. In actual practice, a thoroughfare plan is developed 
for established urban areas and is constrained by the existing land use and street patterns, 
existing public attitudes and goals, and current expectations of future land use. Compromises 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

must be made because of these constraints and the many other factors that affect major street 
locations. 

Throughout the thoroughfare planning process it is necessary from a practical viewpoint that 
certain basic principles be followed as closely as possible. These principles are as follows: 

1 . The plan should be derived from a thorough knowledge of today's travel - its component 
parts, as well as the factors that contribute to it, limit it, and modify it. 

2. Traffic demands must be sufficient to warrant the designation and development of each 
major street. The transportation plan should be designed to accommodate a large portion 
of all major traffic movements on a relatively few streets. 

3. The plan should conform to and provide for the land development plan of the area. 

4. Certain considerations must be given to urban development beyond the current planning 
period. Particularly in outlying or sparsely developed areas that have development 
potential, it is necessary to designate thoroughfares on a long-range planning basis to 
protect rights of way for future thoroughfare development. 

5. While being consistent with the above principles and realistic in terms of travel trends, the 
plan must be economically feasible. 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

II. Development of Thoroughfare Plan 

The objective of thoroughfare planning is to develop a transportation system that will meet 
future travel demand and enable people and goods to travel safely and economically. To 
determine the needs of an area, it is important to understand trends related to population, 
economy/employment, land use as well as those items relating to the existing transportation 
system and it's operational deficiencies. 

Population 

The traffic volume on any roadway is closely related to the size and distribution of the population 
served. By looking at past trends, a good indication of future growth can be determined. 

Brunswick County continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina. From 
1990 to 1999, Brunswick County experienced a growth rate of 36.5%, ranking it 4 th in North 
Carolina behind only Wake, Johnston and Union Counties. Table 1 below shows population 
trends and projections for Brunswick County, Smithville Township and the City of Southport. 

The 2020 projected population shows a slow but steady increase for the City of Southport. This 
projection is based in part on the popularity of the Brunswick County area as a population 
destination, the availability of suitable land in the Southport area and the past trends concerning 
growth in the area. 



Table 1: Population Trends and Projections 





1970 


1975 


1980 


1985 


1990 


1995 


2000 


2010 


2020 


Brunswick County 


24,223 


33,900 


35,777 


44,840 


50,985 


60,591 


70,813 


87,371 


102,626 


Smithville Township 


4346 




6838 




9488 


10,735 


12,145 


15,545 


19,898 


Southport 






2824 




2369 


2540 


2854 


3653 


4676 



• Brunswick County figures from the Office of State Planning 

• Smithville Township and Southport figures from the Office of State Planning (up to 1990) 

• Smithville Township projections based on growth from 1980 to 1990 

• Southport projections based on percentage of township population 

Economy and Employment 

An important factor in estimating the future traffic growth of an area is its economic base. This 
base determines the employment type and size, as well as commuter traffic patterns around the 
area. Table 2 below shows the percentage of employed persons by industry in the City of 
Southport. 



Table 2: City of Southport Em 


Dloyed Persons by Industry 


Occupation 


% Employed 
1980 


% Employed 
1990 


Agriculture, forestry, mining 


0% 


0% 


Construction 


8% 


1% 


Nondurable goods manufacturing 


6% 


2% 


Durable goods manufacturing 


0% 


4% 


Transportation 


2% 


1% 


Communication, other public 
utilities 


13% 


15% 


Wholesale trade 


2% 


2% 


Retail trade 


16% 


17% 


Finance, insurance, and real 
estate 


5% 


8% 


Business and repair services 


3% 


4% 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 



Personal, entertainment and 
recreational services 


7% 


8% 


Health services 


8% 


11% 


Educational services 


10% 


9% 


Other professional and related 
services 


4% 


5% 


Public Administration 


12% 


11% 


Fishing 


5% 


2% 



Source: 1990 Southport Land Use Plan and 1990 U.S. Census 
The table below shows the largest industrial employers in the Southport area. 
Table 3: Southport Area Major Industrial Employers, 1995 



Industry 


Product 


Employees 


Archer Daniel Midland Co. 


Organic citric chemicals 


200 


Carolina Power and Light 


Electrical Provider 


894 


Caroon, CB Crab Co. Inc. 


Crab meats/products 


30 


Cogentrix, Inc. 


Cogeneration facility 


18 


State Port Pilot 


Newspaper publishing 


15 


Tri-Tech, Inc. 


Police/law enforcement supplies 


50 


Total 




1207 



Source: 1995 NC Manufacturers Directory 

No significant change to Southport's employment is expected within the planning period. 
Suitable land for industrial and commercial development does exist, but this development is 
projected to be slow and follow the existing development pattern very closely. 

Land Use 

Single-family residential housing generally dominates and use in Southport. This includes two 
new subdivisions in the area of NC21 1/Ferry Road; the Landing and Harbor Oaks. Minor 
changes have occurred in the past 10 years, but major commercial areas continue to be in the 
central business district, marine related commercial uses in the State Ports Authority small boat 
harbor area, strip commercialization along Howe Street, and development around the 
intersection of NC 87 and NC 211 . 

The following land use summary provides an analysis of uses by land use category and a 
comparison of 1985, 1990 and 1997 land use acreage. 



Table 4: 


Existing Land Use Within Total Planning Jurisdiction 


Land Use 


1 997 Acres 


1990 Acres 


1985 Acres 


Single-family 


645.8 


529.0 


463.5 


Multi-family 


39.2 


31.7 


15.0 


Mobile Home 


20.9 


24.7 


18.1 


TOTAL RESIDENTIAL 


705.9 


585.4 


496.6 










Commercial 


122.7 


111.3 


101.2 


Industrial 


124.8 


124.8 


3.6 


Institutional 


85.0 


83.2 


85.2 


Parks and Open Space 


25.1 


17.0 


17.0 


Tans/Comm/Util 


595.3 


560.8 


518.1 


Undeveloped 


1981.3 


2157.5 


2418.3 


TOTAL ACREAGE 


3640.1 


3640.0 


3640.0 



Sources: 1985 figures - Southport Land Use Plan Update, 1985; 1990 figures 
1990; 1997 figures - Windshield survey by Holland Consulting Planners, Inc. 



Southport Land Use Plan Update, 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

The City of Southport is not likely to experience drastic changes in land use within the planning 
horizon. Development will be gradual, as vacant land is used for primarily residential housing 
and to a lesser extent, commercial use. The projected land uses will more than likely develop 
as follows: 

Commercial development will continue along the Howe street corridor, around the intersection 
of NC 21 1 and NC 87 and along NC 21 1 between "Beach Road" and NC 87. 

No significant industrial development is expected within the corporate limits. Industrial 
development would be encouraged outside the corporate limits generally North of Jabbertown 
Road, East of NC 87 and North of the city limit line to the East of Leonard Street. 

Residential housing is expected to develop primarily to the west/northwest of the Central 
Business District in the area near and around the Smithville Woods subdivision, and in the 
vicinity of NC 21 1 /Ferry Road near and around the subdivisions in that area (The Landing and 
Harbor Oaks). 

Travel Demand 

The City of Southport is served primarily by NC 21 1 and NC 87, which feed into the area just 
north of the Southport City limits. NC 21 1 (Howe Street) then serves as a "main street" through 
town to it's intersection with Moore Street. Moore Street then becomes NC 21 1 that ends at the 
North Carolina Ferry terminal. A list of the city's major roads can be seen below and a map of 
the road system within the planning area can be seen in Figure 2. 

Major thoroughfares include NC 87, NC 21 1 , NC 1 33, and the Dosher Cut-off Road. 

Minor thoroughfares include West Street, Fodale Avenue, Leonard Street and Jabbertown 
Road. 

Travel demand is satisfied by the individual characteristics of each facility (i.e. number of lanes, 
lane width, etc.). The North Carolina Department of Transportation classifies the extent of travel 
demand by annually reporting Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) counts for road sections in 
North Carolina. Figure 3 shows the AADT volumes on facilities in the Southport Planning Area 
for 1997 and projected AADT volumes for 2025. 

Past trends, land use, as well as certain other factors influence future growth in traffic volumes. 
Traffic has increased and is expected to increase on the major facilities in the planning area. 
These include NC 21 1 - Howe Street through town, NC 87 and NC 133, NC 21 1 to Long Beach 
Road, Dosher Cut-Off Road, and Moore Street/Ferry Road. Figure 3 shows the projected 
AADT volumes on facilities in the Southport Planning Area for 2025. 

Capacity Analysis 

Capacity represents the maximum amount of traffic that can be accommodated by a given 
facility under existing roadway and traffic conditions. The traffic volume relationship to the 
roadway capacity will determine the level of service being provided. The traffic engineering 
community has identified six levels of service that describe the range of possible conditions. 
These six levels of service are illustrated and defined in Appendix A3. 

Figure 4 shows the anticipated 2000 capacity deficiencies on facilities in the Southport Planning 
Area. 

9 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Capacity deficiencies exist primarily in two locations at the end of the planning horizon, in the 
year 2025. Traffic congestion is expected to worsen along NC 21 1 from Beach Road into 
Southport and through town to Leonard Street. It is also expected to worsen on NC 87/NC133 
coming south, utilizing the Dosher Cut-Off Road and heading towards Oak Island. The 2025 
capacity deficiencies can be seen in Figure 5. 

In meetings with town officials and Southport citizens, some areas/roads were denoted as 
problems. This information was included in the evaluation for determination of the 
recommended thoroughfare plan. 

Noted concerns/problem areas include: 

• NC 21 1 from 1 2 th Street to Beach Road 

This facility serves as the "gateway" to Southport being the main entrance and really only 
one of two ways to get to the area. This is a partially tree lined roadway that is currently a 
two lane facility. 

• NC 87/NC 1 33 from planning area boundary to NC 21 1 

These facilities serve as an entrance to the Southport area bringing traffic south from I-40 
and the Wilmington area. 

• Dosher Cut-Off Road 

This facility serves as a "short cut" for traffic coming down NC 87/NC 133 with a final 
destination in the vicinity of Oak Island. While it does not directly affect traffic in the 
Southport corporate limits, it does affect traffic coming into the Southport area and traffic 
exiting the Southport area headed to Oak Island. 

• NC 21 1 through Central Business District (Howe Street) 

NC Ferry Operation Traffic 

This also includes industrial traffic from the same side of town. 

Direct connection from Southport to Oak Island that would serve as an alternative to NC 21 1 
-NC 133 



• 



• 



10 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

III. Thoroughfare Plan 

A thoroughfare plan identifies existing and anticipated future deficiencies in the transportation 
system and uncovers the need for new facilities. The thoroughfare plan also provides a 
representation of the existing highway system by functional use, which includes major 
thoroughfares, minor thoroughfares, and the local street system. 

This chapter presents the thoroughfare plan recommendations. This thoroughfare plan was 
developed by evaluating past and current data, future trends, and input from City of Southport 
staff and citizens. It is the goal of this study to recommend a plan for the transportation system 
that will serve the anticipated traffic and land development needs of the City of Southport over 
the next 25 years. The primary objective of this plan is to reduce traffic congestion and improve 
safety by eliminating both existing and anticipated deficiencies in the thoroughfare system. 
These recommendations are shown in Figure 6. 

Major Thoroughfares 

NC 211 from Beach Road to Fodale Avenue 

It is recommended that this existing roadway be widened to a 4-lane divided facility. Traffic 
volumes along this road are anticipated to increase gradually as population increases, land 
develops and the Southport/Oak Island area continues to be an attractive tourist destination. 
This route serves as a "gateway" to Southport, however it's existing 2-lane cross section is 
already becoming congested. The drive into Southport on this facility is a picturesque journey, 
with one passing large oak trees on both sides of the roadway. Right of way is limited and the 
importance of these trees cannot be taken too lightly, however as Southport grows and 
develops, this main (and really only) entrance into town will require a major redesign. Right of 
way is available for an intermediate widening to a 3-lane section. This however would only 
temporarily help ease congestion and only in one direction (3 lanes of through traffic here would 
provide greater capacity then a cross section with 2 lanes of through traffic and a center turn 
lane). Southport cannot hope to continue attracting residents, business and tourist traffic 
without providing a safe and reliable (non congested) facility into town. This precipitates the 
need for a 4-lane divided facility. This type of cross section could be designed in such a way as 
to minimize impacts on the existing tree canopy (at least one side) and to maximize the 
picturesque quality one feels when entering the Southport area now. This 4-lane divided facility 
is also a continuation of recommendations from the Oak Island Thoroughfare Plan adopted in 
1998. That plan recommended widening NC 211 to a 4-lane divided facility from the proposed 
location of the second Oak Island Bridge to the CP&L canal just southeast of the Dosher Cut-off 
Road (the edge of the study planning boundary). 

NC211 (Howe Street) 

It is recommended that this existing roadway be widened to a 4-lane facility. This road currently 
exists as a 2-lane facility with intermittent parking on one or both sides. Turning vehicles in both 
directions worsens traffic congestion, as residential and commercial development exists along 
this stretch of road. This coupled with the numerous existing cross streets at close intervals 
makes matters that much worse. However, the general problem with this facility is the traffic 
volume wishing to utilize this roadway. The entire stretch of roadway is a destination and traffic 
volumes are expected to increase throughout the planning period. Intermediate steps could be 
taken to improve this roadway including traffic signals (when warranted) to improve cross street 
movements, partial removal of parking to accommodate additional turn lanes, etc. It is 
envisioned that the ultimate cross section of this roadway could be built without the additional 
need of right of way in most places. This would however eliminate on-street parking and this 



11 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

fact should be taken into consideration as this roadway develops and as parking policies are 
debated and designed. 

NC87/NC133 

It is recommended that this existing roadway be widened to a 5-lane divided facility. Currently 
much of this section of road exists as a 3-lane section. Projected traffic volumes imply the need 
for a 5-lane facility. This facility could be designed in much the same way as NC 21 1 as 
proposed above, with a landscaped median that provides a picturesque entry into the Southport 
area. 

Dosher Cut-Off Road (TIP Project # R-3324) 

This project exists as part of the NCDOT Transportation Improvement Program. Money has 
been set aside to fund this project with planning scheduled to begin in 2003. Construction is 
scheduled to begin tentatively in 2008. This facility would provide a more direct connection from 
NC 87/NC 133 to the Oak Island area. It would help to alleviate traffic congestion directly 
caused by traffic heading to Oak Island on portions of NC 87 and NC 21 1 . It is recommended 
that Southport continue to endorse this project and keep working with local and state officials to 
keep the schedule on track. 

Minor Thoroughfares 

Northern Connector 

It is recommended that a 2-lane facility be constructed on new location. This road will connect 
Leonard Street with NC 87 and provide an alternative to NC 21 1 for traffic heading towards 
Wilmington and Interstate 40. This facility, in conjunction with Yaupon Drive (see below) will 
help to alleviate traffic from being forced to utilize Howe Street through town or Jabbertown 
Road (a residential street). Currently, all NC ferry traffic as well as industrial traffic located on ~ 
the southeastern side of town generally use NC 21 1 as the ingress/egress into and out of 
Southport. The Southport - Fort Fisher Ferry operates from a facility at the end of NC 21 1 . It is 
also anticipated that the Bald Head Island Ferry operation will begin operations near this 
location in 2001. The Bald Head Island Ferry and the Southport - Fort Fisher Ferry each 
currently carry approximately 400,000 passengers per year. This traffic coupled with the 
industrial traffic from the ADM and Cogentrix plants will be able to bypass the already congested 
strip of Howe Street through Southport. Southport downtown business's voiced a concern 
about a loss of business due to this proposed bypass of the downtown district. These concerns 
could be eased with proper signage during the construction and operation of this new facility. A 
sign directing people to "Historic Downtown Southport" is in most cases a much more effective 
way of drawing tourist traffic. Those people truly wishing to bypass the congested part of 
downtown (local residents, through trips, etc.) would then be free to ease the traffic woes of 
those utilizing downtown as a destination. This route could also be utilized as an evacuation 
route for the southeastern side of Southport in the event of natural or man-made disasters. 

Yaupon Drive 

It is recommended that this existing right of way be constructed as a two lane facility. This road 
would connect Moore Street in the vicinity of the Ferry Road to Leonard Street. When used in 
conjunction with the Northern Connector, this provides a "bypass" of the downtown area, and an 
alternative evacuation route in times of disaster. 

Other Minor Thoroughfares 

No major improvements are required on the other minor thoroughfares in town: West Street, 
Fodale Avenue, Leonard Street and Jabbertown Road. However, these roadways should be 



12 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

widened in narrow sections to 24 feet to meet secondary road standards and for capacity, safety 
and driver comfort reasons. 

Local streets in town could also be widened when possible to 24 feet for the same reasons. 

Alternate Modes 

Transit 

There is currently no transit service within the City of Southport or surrounding area. No service 
is expected within the planning period. 

Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation 

Southport is a wonderful friendly place for bicyclist and walking enthusiasts. Southport has city 
designated bicycle routes as well as North Carolina designated bicycle routes. There is also a 
designated self-guided walking tour. Southport is committed to providing safe and enjoyable 
bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The specific routes as well as some future improvement 
information can be found below. 

Bicycle Routes 

The City of Southport maintains five and one-half miles of designated bicycle routes. These 
routes follow quiet neighborhood streets, connecting Southport's major attractions. These 
routes are signed with a green and white bike route sign. Facilities within these routes include: 
Bay Street, West Street, Atlantic Avenue, 9 th Street, Indigo Plantation Drive, Fodale Drive, and 
Moore Street. 

In North Carolina, the Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation within the North Carolina 
Department of Transportation has created a system of Bicycling Highways. Ten different routes 
which cover 3,000 miles of lightly-traveled country roads currently comprise the system. Two of 
these routes exist in Southport. The Cape Fear Run is a 160-mile route that roughly parallels 
the course of the Cape Fear River through the coastal plain to the sea. This route terminates in 
Southport utilizing the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry connection. This route is designated as Bike 
Route 5. 

The Ports of Call route consists of 300 miles of roadway that take you to all the major ports of 
the colonial era. This route enters Southport on NC 21 1, utilizes Howe Street and Moore Street 
and exits the Southport area on the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry. This route is designated as 
Bike Route 3. 

These routes can be seen in Figure 8. 

Walking Trail/Tour 

The City of Southport Historical Society maintains a self guided walking tour of much of the 
downtown area. This walking tour utilizes existing city facilities while giving the visitor a glimpse 
into the rich history of Southport. This tour begins at the Southport Visitor's Center and makes a 
circuitous route around the downtown area utilizing Moore Street, Bay Street, Atlantic Avenue 
among others. 



13 



1 

Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 



Bicycle Projects 

One current project exists in the NCDOT Transportation Improvement Program. Project E-4004 
will add wide paved shoulders to NC 21 1 from Rhett Street to the NC Ferry Terminal. This 
project will be a benefit to bicyclists utilizing either Southport's Bicycle Route along NC 21 1 or 
those using the NC Bicycle Route along this road. This project is expected to be completed in 
2001. 

For any information about bicycle routes or projects in Southport, or to request/discuss future 
projects, please contact the Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation of the NCDOT. 



14 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

IV. Implementation 

Implementation is one of the most important aspects of the transportation plan. Unless 
implementation is an integral part of this process, the effort and expense associated with 
developing the plan is lost. There are several tools available for use by the Town of Southport 
to assist in the implementation of the thoroughfare plan. They are as follows: 

State-Municipal Adoption of the Thoroughfare Plan 

The Town of Southport and the North Carolina Department of Transportation have mutually 
approved the thoroughfare plan shown in FIGURE 1. This mutually approved plan serves as a 
guide for the Department of Transportation in the development of the road and highway system 
for Southport. The approval of the plan by the town enables standard road regulations and land 
use controls to be used effectively in the implementation of this plan. 

Subdivision Controls 

Subdivision regulations require every subdivider to submit to the Town Planning Commission a 
plan of any proposed subdivision. It also requires that subdivisions be constructed to certain 
standards. Through this process, it is possible to require the subdivision streets to conform to 
the thoroughfare plan and to reserve or protect (dedicate) necessary right-of-way for projected 
roads and highways that are to become a part of the thoroughfare plan. The construction of 
subdivision streets to adequate standards reduces maintenance costs and simplifies the 
transfer of streets to the State Highway System. 

Land Use Controls 

Land use regulations are an important tool in that they regulate future land development and 
minimize undesirable development along roads and highways. The land use regulatory system 
can improve highway safety by requiring sufficient setbacks to provide for adequate sight 
distances and by requiring off-street parking. 

Development Reviews 

Driveway access to a state-maintained street or highway is reviewed by the District Engineer's 
office and by the Traffic Engineering Branch of the North Carolina Department of 
Transportation. In addition, any development expected to generate large volumes of traffic 
such as shopping centers, fast food restaurants, or large industries may be comprehensively 
studied by staff from the Traffic Engineering Branch, and/or Roadway Design Unit of the 
NCDOT. If done at an early stage, it is often possible to significantly improve the 
development's accessibility while preserving the integrity of the thoroughfare plan. 

Funding Sources 

Transportation Improvement Program 

North Carolina's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a document which lists all major 
construction projects the Department plans for the next six years. Similar to local Capital 
Improvement Program projects, TIP projects are matched with projected funding sources. 

15 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Each year when the TIP is updated, completed projects are removed, programmed projects are 
advanced, and new projects are added. 

During annual TIP public hearings, municipalities request projects to be included in the TIP. A 
Board of Transportation member reviews all of the project requests in a particular area of the 
state. Based on the technical feasibility, need, and available funding, the board member 
decides which projects will be included in the TIP. In addition to highway construction and 
widening, TIP funds are available for bridge replacement projects, highway safety projects, 
public transit projects, railroad projects, and bicycle projects. For information on the TIP 
process or specific questions about a TIP project, contact the TIP Development Unit of the 
NCDOT. 

Public Access Funds 

If an industry, school or volunteer fire department wishes to develop property that does not 
have access to a state maintained highway and certain conditions are met, then funds may be 
made available for construction of an access road. For more information on public access 
funds, please contact the appropriate Division Engineer. 

Small Urban Funds 

Small Urban funds are annual discretionary funds made to municipalities with qualifying 
projects. The maximum amount is $150,000 per year per project. A town may have multiple 
projects. Requests for Small Urban Fund assistance should be directed to the appropriate 
Board of Transportation member and Division Engineer. 

The North Carolina Highway Trust Fund Law 

The Highway Trust Fund Law was established in 1989 as a plan with four major goals for North 
Carolina's roads and highways. These goals are: 

1 . To complete the remaining 2,768 km (1 ,71 6 mi.) of four lane construction on the 5,800 km 
(3,600 mi.) North Carolina Inrastate System. 

2. To construct a multilane connector in Asheville and portions of multilane loops in Charlotte, 
Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem. 

3. To supplement the secondary roads appropriation in order to pave, by 1999, 16,100 km 
(10,000 mi.) of unpaved secondary roads carrying 50 or more vehicles per day, and all 
other unpaved secondary roads by 2006. 

4. To supplement the Powell Bill Program. 

For more information on the Highway Trust Fund Law, contact the Program Development 
Branch of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 



16 



1 



Figures 



y*~ "" 1 1 1 1 4 



X. 



/ 



/ 



/ 



/ 



& 



Brunswick Cc 
Airport 




LEGEND 

EXISTING PROPOSED 



MAJOR 



MINOR 



ADPOTED BY: 



CITY OF 
SOUTHPORT 

PUBUC 
HEARING 



JULY 13, 2000 



JULY 13, 2000 



RECOMMENDED BY 

STATEWIDE PLANNING SEPTEMBER 11. 2000 



NORTH CAROLINA 
DEPARTMENT OF 
TRANSPORTATION 



OCTOBER 13, 2000 



FIGURE 1 



JULY 13, 2000 



THOROUGHFARE 
PLAN FOR 

SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



NORTH CAROUNA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

STATEWIDE PLANNING BRANCH 



U-S.DS»ARTMeJT OF TRANSPORTATION 
FEDBtAl HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION 

3000 4500 6000 7500 9000 



Bos* Mop Date 
April 12, 2000 




LEGEND 

EXISTING PROPOSED 



MAJOR 
MINOR 



ADPOTED BY: 



CITY OF 
SOUTHPORT 



RECOMMENDED BY 

STATEWIDE PLANNING SBTEMa II. 2000 



NORTH CAROLINA 

DEPARTMENT OF 

TRANSPORTATION OCTOKK 13.2000 



FIGURE 1 



JULY 13, 2000 



THOROUGHFARE 
PLAN FOR 

SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



FIGURE 2 



mmmmmmMMmmmsiMM 



PLANNING AREA 
BOUNDARY 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
STATEWIDE PUMMNG BRANCH 



U-SDEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
FEDERAL HKHWAY ADMINBTRATTON 



3000 4500 



7500 9000 



scow in fMt 

Bom Mop Do** 
April 12, 2000 




FIGURE 2 



PLANNING AREA 
BOUNDARY 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 





Brunswick County 
Airport 




"1 



LEGEND 



[ 0000011997 Avg. Annual Daily Traffic Count 
MKXW2025 Avg. Annual Daily Traffic Count 



FIGURE 3 



AVERAGE DAILY 
TRAFFIC COUNTS 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

STATEWIDE PLANNING BRANCH 



9000 



U.S.DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION 



7500 



teal* in feat 

Bote Map Date 
April 12, 2000 



'*- 



211 



U r 





{' 1 \ 


5600 
10000 


•--' 


A 




6200 

11000 







"\L 



C*7 




12000 
19800 



7300 t 
12600 



13500 
22400 




2700 
5600 








IS17 




1900 
3100 






1800 
3400 




Ssraajj / 


L 





i{ /wmm. 



LEGEND 



i)1997 Avg. Annual Daily Traffic Count 
2025 Avg. Annual Daily Traffic Count 



FIGURE 3 



AVERAGE DAILY 
TRAFFIC COUNTS 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 






Brunswick County 
Airport 




LEGEND 

Near Capacity 
■■ Over Capacity 



FIGURE 4 



2000 

CAPACITY 

DEFICIENCIES 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

STATEWIDE PLANNING BRANCH 



1500 



U4.D6PARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION 

3000 4500 
■i—iiii- 



J. ^; ,..>.v 



scale in feat 

Base Map Date 
April 12, 2000 



mm 



LEGEND 

Near Capacity 
^ Over Capacity 



FIGURE 4 



2000 

CAPACITY 

DEFICIENCIES 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 





Brunswick County 
Airport 




LEGEND 

Near Capacity 
»^» Over Capacity 



FIGURE 5 



2025 

CAPACITY 

DEFICIENCIES 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

STATEWIDE PUNNING BRANCH 

m en— mew wm m 

U-S-DEPAKTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION 



900Z 



scale in feat 

Base Map Date 
April 12, 2000 



iC^z 



HI 



/ 



/ 



V 



Brunswick County 
Airport 



/< 
<& 



I 



LEGEND 



WIDENING NEW LOCATION 

TIP PROJECT R-3324 saisissafiiiiSiBis assa sb ies 



4 LANE DIVIDED 

5 LANE 
4 LANE 
2 LANE 



msiimmsim jkm sss sss 



FIGURE 6 



2025 
RECOMMENDED 
IMPROVEMENTS 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
STATEWIDE PLANNING BRANCH 



U.S.DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION 



tai^^^ter -v—' 



3000 4500 
— rjMmvwwggg 



6000 7500 9000 



- .■'''■■ — -— 



scale in fo«t 

Base Map Dot* 

Apri!12, 2000 



H2SS5S 




WIDENING NEW LOCATION 



2025 
RECOMMENDED 
IMPROVEMENTS 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



r 




Environmental Factors 
LEGEND 

e Occurence Sites (Restricted-100k) 

.-NR (Restricted-100k) 
NR (Restricted-100k) 
.-SL(Restricted-IOOk) 

te Facilities (24k) 

| Waste Facilities (Unverified 24k) 
Areas (Haz. Subs. Dispos Sites) 
•c-24k) 

- no attributes) 
toute 
ivided 
yjndivided 
^Divided 
j MJndivided 
tied 
divided 



jets 
r nRd 
, Ramp 
'lents 
Parkway 
/ice Rd 



k TIGER w/ attributes) 

al Habitat Areas (1 mile buffer-24k) 

y Wetlands 
igh) 

ality Wetlands 
k Wetlands 
ers/Streams (100k) 
jor Rivers/Streams (100k) 
jor Water Bodies (100k) 

s (100k) 

atersheds (24k) 



ioundaries (24k) 



W 



A 



0.4 




Figure 7 - Southport Environmental Factors 
LEGEND 

lj Nat. Heritage Occurence Sites (Restricted-100k) 
& Hist. Struct-NR (Restricted-100k) 
VI: Hist Dist -NR (Restricted-100k) 
& Hist. Struct -SL(Restricted-1 00k) 



A 



Solid Waste Facilities (24k) 



N Hazardous Waste Facilities (Unverified 24k) 
jgfj Superfund Areas (Haz Subs Dispos Sites) 

Marinas (arc-24k) 
Roads (DOT 24k - no attributes) 
/\/ Interstate Route 
fsj US Route Divided 
/\/US Route Undivided 
, A/ NC Route Divided 
/\/NC Route Undivided 
A/' SR 4L Divided 
A/ SR4L Undivided 
/\/ SR 2L T-51 
/\ 'SR2LT-41 

SR 2L T-20 

SR2LT-10 

Urban Streets 

Non-System Rd 

Service Rd, Ramp 

Misc Segments 
y* v 'B!ue Ridge Parkway 

Forest Service Rd 

Trail 

Unknown 

Roads (100k TIGER til attributes) 

Prop Critical Habitat Areas (1 mile buffer-24k) 
DCM Wetlands 
HI High Quality Wetlands 
B Pocosin (High) 
~H Medium Quality Wetlands 
ffi Low Quality Wetlands 

Hydro - Rivers/Streams (100k) 
V' Hydro - Maior Rivers/Streams (100k) 

Hydro - Mapr Water Bodies (100k) 
■ HQW Zones (100k) 
Water Supply Watersheds (24k) 

Critical 

Protected 

Municipal Boundaries (24k) 




r^ 





Brunswick County 
Airport 




LEGEND 



CITY OF SOUTHPORT 
BIKE ROUTE 

NC BIKE ROUTE #3 

NC BIKE ROUTE #3 & 6 

CITY OF SOUTHPORT 
BIKE ROUTE & NC BIKE 
ROUTE #3 



.;;;■;,;■ (ggu >:-~ i- n ir t 



£ 8 



BICYCLE 
ROUTES 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



!■!»■ I Cr TW 



NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
STATEWIDE PLANNING BRANCH 



9000 



U.S.DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
FHJERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION 



3000 



4500 6000 7500 



scale in feet 

Bote Map Date 
April 12, 2000 



MSMaS 




LEGEND 



CITY OF SOUTHPORT 
BIKE ROUTE 

NC BIKE ROUTE #3 

NC BIKE ROUTE #3 & 6 

CfTY OF SOUTHPORT 
BIKE ROUTE & NC BIKE 
ROUTE #3 



FIGURE 8 



BICYCLE 
ROUTES 



SOUTHPORT 

Brunswick County 
NORTH CAROLINA 



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m 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Appendix A2 

A2. Public Involvement 

In 1998, the Statewide Planning Branch of the North Carolina Department of Transportation 
received a request from the City of Southport to update their Thoroughfare Plan. Southport had 
previously adopted a thoroughfare plan in 1960. In 1984, Southport along with the other 
municipalities in the region adopted a Brunswick County Thoroughfare Plan. It was Southport's 
goal to develop a new plan to help guide transportation decisions in the future. 

The first meeting was held on August 18, 1998 between the Southport City Manager and 
officials from the Statewide Planning Branch of the NCDOT. At this time, some general themes 
and problem areas concerning transportation were discussed. Some noted problem areas were 
the intersections of Howe Street and 12 th Street, NC 87 and NC 21 1 , and Howe Street and West 
Street; traffic on NC 21 1 through town; traffic on the Dosher Cut-off Road and some question as 
to an east-west connector facility proposed in the Brunswick County Thoroughfare Plan. 

On September 17, 1998 NCDOT officials attended a regularly scheduled meeting of the 
Southport Planning Board to present information related to thoroughfare planning and solicit 
ideas and concerns from the planning board on transportation "problems" in the Southport area. 
In general the planning board suggestions mirrored those from the earlier meeting with the City 
Manager. One added area of concern or emphasis point was the possible addition of a 
"northern connector" that would link the NC Ferry Terminal to NC 87 or NC 21 1 without utilizing 
NC 21 1 through the downtown area. 

On January 21, 1999 a subsequent meeting was held with the Southport Planning Board to give 
an update on the work being done as well as solicit input on the best way to help involve the 
citizens of Southport in the planning process beyond their participation in Planning Board 
meetings. It was decided here that after initial recommendations had been formulated, a public 
workshop would be held before a regularly scheduled Planning Board meeting which would 
allow citizens a chance to view recommendations from the NCDOT as well as comment in a non 
formal setting on these recommendations. 

Due to a number of natural disasters along the North Carolina Coast coupled with a hectic 
schedule among NCDOT employees, the next meeting in Southport didn't occur until April 20, 
2000. This meeting consisted of a public workshop to present recommendations and hear 
concerns/comments from the public and a public hearing at the Planning Board Meeting for the 
purpose of presentation to the Planning Board as well as a formal opportunity for citizen input. 
The recommended thoroughfare plan was presented at this meeting. Citizens were concerned 
about the placement of the proposed "northern connector" and it's proximity to a neighborhood 
near Leonard Street. This concern was noted and ultimately the location of this connector was 
changed. 

On June 15, 2000 the final recommended Thoroughfare Plan was presented to the Planning 
Board and they voted unanimously to recommend this plan to the Southport Board of Alderman. 

Finally, on July 13, 2000 the Southport Board of Alderman voted to approve the Southport 
Thoroughfare Plan. 



A2 






Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Appendix A3 

A3. Level of Service Definitions 

The various levels of service are defined below for uninterrupted flow facilities, but the basic 
concepts apply to all roads. 

LOS A 

Represents free flow. Individual users are virtually unaffected by the presence of others in the 
traffic stream. Freedom to select desired speeds and to maneuver within the traffic stream is 
extremely high. The general level of comfort and convenience provided to the motorist, 
passenger, or pedestrian is excellent. 

LOSB 

Is in the range of stable flow, but the presence of other users in the traffic stream begins to be 
noticeable. Freedom to select desired speeds is relatively unaffected, but there is a slight 
decline in the freedom to maneuver within the traffic stream from LOS A. The level of comfort 
and convenience provided is somewhat less than at LOS A, because the presence of others in 
the traffic stream begins to affect individual behavior. 

LOSC 

Is in the range of stable flow, but marks the beginning of the range of flow in which the operation 
of individual users becomes significantly affected by interactions with others in the traffic stream. 
The selection of speed is now affected by the presence of others, and maneuvering within the 
traffic stream requires substantial vigilance on the part of the user. The general level of comfort 
and convenience declines noticeably in this range. 

LOSD 

Represents high-density, but stable flow. Speed and freedom to maneuver are severely 
restricted, and the driver or pedestrian experiences a generally poor level of comfort and 
convenience. Small increases in traffic flow will generally cause operational problems at this 
level. 

LOSE 

Represents operating conditions at or near the capacity level. All speeds are reduced to a low, 
but relatively uniform value. Freedom to maneuver within the traffic stream is extremely difficult, 
and it is generally accomplished by forcing a vehicle or pedestrian to "give way" to 
accommodate such maneuvers. Comfort and convenience levels are extremely poor, and 
driver or pedestrian frustration is high. Operations at this level are usually unstable because 
small increases in flow or minor perturbations within the traffic stream will cause breakdowns. 

LOSF 

Is used to define forced or breakdown flow. This condition exists wherever the amount of traffic 
approaching a point exceeds the amount that can traverse the point. Queues form behind such 
locations. Operations within the queue are characterized by stop-and-go waves, and they are 
extremely unstable. Vehicles may progress at reasonable speeds for several hundred feet or 
more then be required to stop in a cyclic fashion. LOS F is used to describe the operating 
conditions within the queue, as well as the point of breakdown. 



A3 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Appendix A4 

A4. Purpose and Need Statements 

Northern Connector/Yaupon Drive 

Project Recommendation: It is recommended that two new 2-lane facilities be constructed, 
one on existing City owned right-of-way (Yaupon Drive) and one on new location (Northern 
Connector). These facilities will connect the southeastern side of Southport and very 
specifically the NC Ferry Terminal and existing Industrial Development to NC 87 and provide an 
alternative to alleviate growing traffic congestion in the downtown area of Southport. 

Transportation Demand: This facility has been proposed in response to growing concern over 
traffic through downtown Southport. This traffic includes passengers from the NC Ferry 
Terminal as well as continued heavy truck traffic from industrial plants located in the area. 
Future growth in this area is expected to consist of mostly residential development with some 
chance of industrial growth. The NC Ferry Terminal is also expected to continue passenger 
growth into the future. Anticipated growth in the area also includes the relocation of the Bald 
Head Island Ferry operation near the NC Ferry Terminal which is expected to immediately 
impact traffic and cause concerns for the future as well. 

Capacity: The capacity of the proposed facility will be approximately 14,000 vehicles per day, 
which will handle the anticipated traffic demand at Level of Service C or better. The existing 
major alternative, NC 21 1 will not be able to handle the increasing traffic demand even if 
widened to 4 lanes. In addition, excessive traffic would continue to use Jabbertown Road, a 
residential street, not suitable for high traffic volumes or the types of vehicles associated with 
the industrial development in the area. 

System Linkage: The Northern Connector along with Yaupon Drive will provide access to the 
increasing number of residences and existing and proposed industrial and ferry operations in 
the southeastern section of Southport. Existing NC 21 1, while designed to handle fairly large 
amounts of traffic will not be able to handle the expected growth even with widening to four 
lanes. The Northern Connector along with Yaupon Drive is also expected to serve as a major 
link in the case of declared evacuation from the Southport area. 

The location of the Northern Connector, while not completely direct, does avoid existing 
wetlands in the area while still providing a vital connection to NC 87 via an alternative route 
other than NC 21 1 . If placed in other seemingly "better" locations in the area, the impact on the 
environment and wetlands would be severe. 



A4 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Appendix A4 



NC211 

Project Recommendation: It is recommended that this existing roadway be widened from it's 
existing 2-lane cross section to a 4-lane divided facility to accommodate steadily increasing 
traffic volumes. This facility serves traffic between Southport and Oak Island. 

Transportation Demand: The widening of this facility is being proposed in response to growing 
traffic volumes between Southport and Oak Island as well as the continued commercial 
development occurring along this corridor. In the last year, A Wal-Mart as well as a Hampton 
Inn have opened on this stretch of road. This development is a direct response of the growth of 
the area as well as the attractiveness of the Southport/Oak Island area as a tourist destination. 
This growth is expected to continue and possibly intensify in the future. 

Capacity: The capacity of the proposed facility will be approximately 35,000 vehicles per day, 
which will handle the anticipated traffic demand at Level of Service C or better. As this is the 
only connection between Southport and Oak Island, NC 87 and NC 211 and the possibility of 
any other direct connection is impossible due to environmental concerns, the existing facility 
would become significantly over capacity by the year 2025 if this widening is not done. 

System Linkage: The widening of this facility will provide traffic capacity necessary to handle 
expected growth in the Southport/Oak Island area and continue to provide the transportation link 
between Southport and Oak Island. NC 21 1 also serves as a direct connection to points west, 
including the town of Supply and a vital link to US 17. 



. 



A4 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Appendix A4 



NC 87/NC 133 

Project Recommendation: It is recommended that this existing 2 and 3-lane facility be 
widened to a 5-lane divided cross section. This facility is the only connection from 
north/northeast (I-40, Wilmington area) to the Southport/Oak Island area. 

Transportation Demand: The widening of this facility is being proposed in response to growing 
traffic from the Wilmington/l-40 area to the Southport/Oak Island area. This traffic consists of 
tourists as well as commuter traffic. This traffic is only expected to increase in the future as 
Southport/Oak Island become even more popular as tourist destinations as well as "bedroom" 
communities for Wilmington. 

Capacity: The capacity of the proposed facility will be approximately 32,500 vehicles per day, 
which will handle the anticipated traffic demand at Level of Service C or better. There are no 
other alternatives to this route as a connection between the Wilmington area and the 
Southport/Oak Island area. 

System Linkage: See Capacity above. 



A4 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Appendix A4 



Howe Street 

Project Recommendation: It is recommended that this existing 2-lane facility be widened to a 
4-lane cross section. This road serves as the main artery through downtown Southport, and 
connects NC 21 1 and the general area to the NC Ferry Terminal. 

Transportation Demand: The widening of this facility is being proposed in response to existing 
residential and commercial development that exists on both sides of the roadway throughout the 
section, and traffic volumes that have grown substantially and are projected to grow into the 
future. As development in the area increases, traffic is expected to increase as well. Also, as 
the Southport area continues to grow as a tourist destination, traffic can also be expected to 
grow. 

Capacity: The capacity of the proposed facility will be approximately 28,000 vehicles per day, 
which will handle the anticipated traffic demand at Level of Service C or better. The proposed 
Northern Connector/Yaupon Drive project will help to alleviate some traffic from NC 21 1 . 
However, even the addition of these facilities will not keep from increasing traffic demands on 
NC 21 1 . Without the addition of extra lanes, AND the construction of the Northern 
Connector/Yaupon Drive project, Howe Street would become significantly over-capacity by the 
year 2025. 

System Linkage: The widening of Howe Street will provide the needed capacity to help the 
downtown Southport area relieve congestion. NC 21 1 serves as the connection between US 17 
and Wilmington via the NC Ferry. This connection is a vital link in North Carolina's 
transportation system. Without the widening of Howe Street, this link will be congested to the 
point of frustration and uselessness. 






A4 



Transportation Plan Technical Report - Southport, North Carolina 

Appendix A5 

A5. Environmental Analysis 

One of the main goals in transportation planning is to plan facilities that safely serve the 
public while having the least affect on environmental and historical concerns in the area. 
The Southport area (and the entire Coastal Plain really) is inundated with wetlands. 
Therefore the issue of avoidance is almost impossible but it is still a goal to be 
maintained. Figure 7 shows the current environmental analysis of the Southport area. If 
one looks closely at this map, two things jump out. The first is that the proposed location 
of the "northern connector" is very close to a national heritage site as well as high and 
low quality wetlands. The actual location of this facility would of course be determined 
with the help of more specific locations of the roadway itself as well as the environmental 
concerns in the area, however, it has been placed in such a way as to avoid both the 
national heritage site as well as the wetlands. 

Secondly, downtown Southport is considered a Historic area. The issue of avoidance 
here is just as important as before. This magnifies the importance of the "northern 
connector" by alleviating traffic through the historic downtown area. 



A5 



STATE 



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